Denman and Hornby Islands’ ferry fares have increased by more than 300 per cent in the past 10 years, the highest percentage increase of all BC Ferries routes.
The British Columbia Coastal Transportation Society (BCCTS) released Saturday a compilation of fare increases from 2003 to 2013 on BC Ferries’ major, minor and northern routes.
The Denman and Hornby Island routes topped the list, with an increase from $10.17 for a return ticket for a vehicle and two adults in 2003 to $41.05 for the same by 2013, a 304-per-cent increase.
A one-way ticket on the Comox to Powell River route cost $30.78 in 2003 for a vehicle and two adults, and rose to $73.35 by 2013, a 138-per-cent increase.
BCCTS vice-president Jackie Miller — who is past president of the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union and started working for BC Ferries in 1973 — says the BCCTS compiled BC Ferries and Ferry Advisory Committee data to make it easy for the public to see how much fares have increased in 10 years.
“We think it’s a pretty shocking fare increase,” she says, noting ferry users can become complacent when fares are increased bit by bit over the years and one of the society’s goals is to break through that complacency.
“I find it really interesting the level of complacency that is out there right now, so we wanted to do something to stimulate discussion about how incredible the fare increases have become,” Miller continues.
“At some point people say enough is enough and I think that we’re seeing some of that reaction on the coast.”
According to the fare increase chart, which can be viewed on http://bccoastaltransportation.ca, fares on other routes have seen high percentage increases in the past 10 years, too. Fares on the Campbell River to Quadra Island route have risen 290 per cent, the second-highest increase listed. Nanaimo to Gabriola fares have risen 267 per cent, Texada to Powell River fares have increased 235 per cent and Bowen Island to Horseshoe Bay fares have risen 241 per cent.
Fares on the major routes from the mainland to Vancouver Island have increased 51.6 per cent. Fares on the long northern trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert have increased 165 per cent.
The percentage of service reductions to minor and northern routes slated to come into effect in April are also listed next to each route’s fare increase.
Ferry fares are set to rise four per cent next year, and 3.9 per cent in 2015.